Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra was appointed the non-official director on the board of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, PTI reported on Friday. Patra, a surgeon, has been appointed for a period of three years.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for Patra’s appointment, the Department of Personnel and Training said in an order. Patra’s appointment comes at a time when the state-owned ONGC is looking to acquire around 51% stake in state-owned oil marketing company Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited by December.

The Centre has named at least 16 BJP leaders as independent directors of various public sector units, The Indian Express reported. Shazia Ilmi, the vice president of BJP’s Delhi unit, was appointed the independent director in Engineers India Limited in January. In May, BJP leader Syed Zafar Islam was named the non-official independent director of state-owned airline Air India.

As per the rules of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, it is mandatory for all companies to have at least 50% of its directors as non-executive or independent, with at least one woman on the board.